The Corner

Madder Than Ever

It’s a long time since MADD transformed itself from being a (much-needed) force for greater sense about drink-driving into a shrill neo-Prohibitionist rabble, so it’s good to see Jacob Sullum saying what needed to be said about the group’s latest efforts:

Egged on by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority is thinking about banning alcohol from commuter trains on the Metro-North and Long Island railroads. “Times have changed and drunk driving is a major concern,” says MTA board member Mitch Pally. “People get off the railroad and they get into cars,” says Deena Cohen, president of MADD’s Long Island chapter. “Somebody is going to get killed.” People also get off airplanes and get into cars, attend sporting events and get into cars, go to rock concerts and get into cars, eat at restaurants and get into cars, and leave bars and get into cars. As a result, somebody is going to get killed. Does that mean alcohol should be banned from all of these places as well? The relevant question, it seems to me, is whether people can drink on trains and planes, at ball games and concerts, and in bars and restaurants without driving home dangerously intoxicated. Plainly, they can, either by watching how much they drink or by hitching a ride with someone else. Surely it is possible to have a beer during an hour-long commute without endangering other people, even if you do drive home once you reach your destination. So Pally and Cohen’s argument amounts to saying that no one should be allowed to drink on commuter trains because some people will abuse the privilege.

Read the whole thing. Over a drink.


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